Harriet Vanger
Biographical information
Also known as

Anita Vanger/Cochran

Family information

Harriet Vanger is a member of the Vanger family. Her uncle, Henrik Vanger, dedicates his life to discovering what happened to her after she vanishes on the day of the Children's Festival in 1966.

Physical DescriptionEdit

She is described as "a dark-haired girl, beautiful but with a mischievous look; a young woman on her way to becoming dangerous..." In the novel, Harriet is a brunette but is changed to a blond in the Swedish film. In the novel, she dyes her hair to look like her cousin Anita Vanger after leaving Hedestad. Blomkvist finds her living in Australia and describes his first impressions of the woman she had become, and says that "her face was sweaty and dirty. Her blonde hair had darker roots. Her face was older and thinner, but she had grown into the beautiful woman that her confirmation portrait had promised."

The Girl with the Dragon TattooEdit

Young Harriet

Mikael Blomkvist remembers a young Harriet Vanger

Harriet becomes her uncle's obsession after she disappears on the day of the Children's Festival. He hires disgraced investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, to try and solve the mystery. The only clues left behind are the last photos of her and her journal with a cryptic entry listing what Henrik and the police believe to be phone numbers. In the novel, Blomkvist's daughter Pernilla provides the answer to the phone numbers. They are not phone numbers but entries in the bible referring to grisly punishments for sinning. Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander then connect the bible verses to a series of unsolved murders before Harriet's disappearance.

Harriet Vanger
After solving the mystery, Blomkvist and Salander discover that Harriet is not only alive but living in Australia under Anita Vanger's name. Blomkvist goes to find her and finally learns the whole story. Harriet reveals that her father, Gottfried Vanger sexually abused her and that he taught her brother, Martin, to continue the incest. When she finally had enough she pushed Gottfried into the lake and held him under water with an oar. Martin witnessed his father's death and threatened to expose Harriet as the killer. Luckily, Martin was sent away to school leaving Harriet safe from more abuse. But, when she saw Martin at the parade earlier in the day she is terrified of what he will do to her and she flees with Anita's help.

She borrowed Anita's passport and under her name she married Spencer Cochran and had three children with him. She then lived in Australia, owning a sheep farm with her husband.

Harriet returns to Hedeby with Blokvist after learning of her brother's death. Henrik is overjoyed to see his niece alive. She is slowly brought in as the CEO of the Vanger corporation in place of her brother and takes over Henrik's duties as co-owner of Millenium.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 Film)Edit

The ending of the English Adapation has been changed. Mikael Blomkvist finds out that Anita is actually Harriet. She confesses that her father raped her many times before killing him. After Martin witnessed the murder, he continued to rape her until he went to Boarding School. When he came back, Harriet and Anita decided to plan her escape. After getting away from Hedeby, she lived under Anita's identity. After Anita and her husband died in a car accident, Harriet continued to live on with Anita's identity.

The Girl Who Played with FireEdit

Harriet returns in the sequel as a co-owner of Millenium. In addition, she enters a sexual relationship with Mikael Blomkvist.